SONNET 14 SONNET 14
Louise Labé tr. Anon


Tant que mes yeux pourront larmes épandre
A l'heur passé avec toi regretter:
Et qu'aux sanglots et soupirs résister
Pourra ma voix, et un peu faire entendre:

Tant que ma main pourra les cordes tendre
Du mignard Luth, pour tes grâces chanter:
Tant que l'esprit se voudra contenter
De ne vouloir rien fors que toi comprendre:

Je ne souhaite encore point mourir.
Mais quand mes yeux je sentirai tarir,
Ma voix cassée, et ma main impuissante,

Et mon esprit en ce mortel séjour
Ne pouvant plus montrer signe d'amante:
Prierai la mort noircir mon plus clair jour.


While I have tears that start into my eyes,
At memories of joys that we have known
And while my voice, still master of its own,
Is not yet choked with sobbing and with sighs.

While still my hand has cunning to devise,
A lover's cadence to the lute's soft tone
And while in understanding you alone,
I no more wisdom need to make me wise.

How could I want, as yet, that I were dead?
And when these eyes have no more tears to shed,
My voice is hoarse and my hands lost their art.

When no longer can my tormented heart
Declare itself in love, then I will pray
For Death to blacken out my brightest day.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.

NOTE: Our thanks for this translation to the website http://http://users.telenet.be/gaston.d.haese/labe_engl.html



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